Southern African Institute for Policy and Research

Zambia Legal Information Institute

SAIPAR manages the Zambia Legal Information Institute (ZambiaLII) website.  ZambiaLII provides no-cost access to Zambia’s judgments and legislation, with the aim to make law more accessible to the public. More specifically, it collects and uploads Laws, Acts, Statutory Instruments, Court Cases and Law Development Commission Reports.  It has since received technical support from the African Legal Information Institute (AfricanLII), a free access to law project operating in South Africa. The AfricanLII and SAFLII websites serves as a platform for engagement with African national and regional law. In 2012, the ZamLII website was set up (www.zambialii.org) and is managed by both AfricanLII and SAIPAR.

Background

The Zambia Legal Information Institute (ZamLII) was set up at University of Zambia (UNZA)’s Law School in 1996, by Prof Peter Martin.  In 2012, the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR) has initiated a revival of ZamLII. It has since received technical support from the African Legal Information Institute (AfricanLII), a free access to law project operating in South Africa. The AfricanLII website serves as a platform for engagement with African national and regional law. In 2012, the ZamLII website was set up (www.zambialii.org) and is managed by both AfricanLII and SAIPAR.

The free access to digital legal resources movement started at Cornell University, U.S. in 1992. The work was carried out by the so-called Legal Information Institute, whose function is to provide free online access to legal information such as case law, legislation, treaties, law reform proposals and legal scholarship. The founders were Prof Peter Martin and Prof Thomas Bruce. The legal information institutes mushroomed around the world and when they assembled in 2002 in Montreal, they declared that:

–          Public legal information from all countries and international institutions is part of the common heritage of humanity. Maximising access to this information promotes justice and the rule of law;

–          Public legal information is digital common property and should be accessible to all on a non-profit basis and free of charge;

–          Organisations such as legal information institutes have the right to publish public legal information and the government bodies that create or control that information should provide access to it so that it can be published by other parties

Maano alazwa amukasumbwa

Translation: "Wisdom may be found through observation of even the simplest things"

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